Cranberry Almond Crumble

This is a nice alternative to all of the pies that adorn the Thanksgiving table. I love nuts mixed with the cranberries. The richness goes so well with the tartness of the fruit.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

Filling: 

1 tablespoon butter

4 Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled and small diced

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 whole cloves

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon golden syrup, such as Lyle's Golden Syrup

1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

24 ounces fresh cranberries (pre-bagged)

Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoons ground (dried) ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 lemon, for zesting on top

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Orange Garnish, recipe follows, optional

Orange Garnish:

8 oranges

2 cups granulated sugar

Pinch turmeric

Directions

Special equipment:
One 9-inch baking dish
  1. Make the filling: Heat the butter in medium saute pan. Add the pears and saute until slightly tender and juicy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the cloves. Toss and remove from the heat to cool.
  2. Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, the lemon juice, syrup and orange zest and mix. Add the cranberries and toss to coat the fruit.
  3. Heat a medium saute pan and add the cranberry mixture. Saute quickly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Combine the pear and cranberry mixtures in a bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix to blend. Work the butter in with your fingers until the mixture is coarse and somewhat moist. The butter should not be fully integrated but there should not be any large chunks either. At the last minute, gently blend in the almonds.
  6. Assemble the crumble: Arrange the fruit in the baking dish and spread the topping evenly over the fruit. Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The fruit should be tender and yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Grate a little zest from the lemon on top of the crumble. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with Orange Garnish if desired.

Orange Garnish:

  1. Bring 2 small pots of water to a boil.
  2. Using a small knife, peel one single piece of skin from around the "equator" (center) of each orange. Trim any thick pith off the inside of each peel, taking care they stay in one piece.
  3. Drop the zests into the first pot and boil for 1 minute. Strain and drop them into the second pot. Cook for 1 minute, strain and set them aside.
  4. In a third small pot, bring the sugar, 2 cups water and turmeric to a boil. Submerge the orange zests and cook over high heat until the liquid boils. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the zests are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the zests to a baking sheet and allow them to cool flat.

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